Marybeth Heikes

Paintings in Watercolor & Mixed Media

Burst of Summertime with Purple Lace

Burst of Summertime with Purple Lace


Nothing is more inspiring than a vase of fresh cut flowers from my garden! These gladioli and small sunflowers smelled wonderful, and their myriad colors and intricate shapes of petals and leaves inspired me to paint them. In the winter I plan and dream about what new varieties to add to my garden.

Painting still lifes have been my passion since I began watercolors many years ago. There is an endless variety involved using fresh flowers and I have accumulated other props in the set ups. Some of these are teapots, bold fabrics, cups, chairs and others. These objects reflect my personal taste and I begin setting up the items on a table, sometimes outside in direct sunlight, or on the kitchen table or counter where I have lots of room to add other objects and move them around until it looks good to me. Photographs are also taken for reference to use at a later date — particularly if I decide to work on a series. I do a number of drawings in different sizes ¬†and draw from different angles which starts my creative juices flowing.

When I begin to paint, larger brushes are used wet-in-wet on a cold press paper. The pigments are applied boldly and freely, allowing colors to mingle and blend on the paper. I do not mix pigments on my palette. Allowing the colors to mingle together create unusual combinations you cannot achieve any other way. Sometimes I’ll use a watercolor crayon and draw into the wet paint for additional textures, or scrape a colored pencil directly into the paint.

While I am painting, I think about the design and placement and the shapes around them. Also things to consider are how each shape relates to each other, the contrast of lines, hard and soft edges, and value patterns. This particular design does not have a lot of extra props in it because the flowers were bursting with energy. The books and chair are quiet figures. I changed the black table and created a purple lace tablecloth because the vase needed a strong textured value to accent it. I did not paint the floral pattern on the vase because it was distracting to the main event — the fresh flowers.

Posted in Stunning Still Lifes on April 3, 2017.

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Want to Buy It?

Format Size Price
Original 18″ × 22 ½″

Antique gold metal frame (24" x 28.5") with white mat

$750.00 |
Print 8″ × 10″
$20.00 |
Print 11″ × 14″

Actual image size is 11″×13.75″.

$30.00 |
Print 16″ × 20″
$45.00 |
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*Frame and mats not included unless noted. Shipping costs are for the continental U.S. Ordering help & policies.